King Fire’s Growth Slows, Allowing for More Aggressive Fire Fighting Strategy

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One week has passed since the start of the King Fire.

It has grown significantly since it began last Saturday in Pollock Pines. The blaze has traveled in a northerly direction toward the Tahoe National Forest. The head of the fire is now in between French Meadows Reservoir and Hell Hone Reservoir.

The largest fire growth happened from Wednesday night into Thursday morning. However, it is still growing steadily.

Because of the recent changes in weather, firefighters near the head of the fire have switched to what they call the “direct attack” approach. Less winds and humidity meant they are able to get closer to the fire.

“The humidity is a little bit higher and the wind is a little on our back side but right now the fire is just backing on itself and it is not burning with intensity,” Battalion Chief Jim Edminston of the Sacramento Fire Department said.

Fire fighters were taking advantage of this situation. They said this approach minimizes the amount of property burned, and is actually safer for them. Being closer to the fire line, they is less fuel to burn between them and the fire’s edge.

But they are not off the hook just yet.

“The fire is so huge and there are so many aspects to it, that while this division the fire may be backing and we may be able to do direct attack, other division may still be doing indirect,” Edminston said.

The primary goal for the crews fighting the head of the fire is to prevent the blaze from jumping over to the American River Canyon.